In the 7th century, the mighty Arabs stormed into Armenia and conquered the country. Beginning in the 9th century, Armenia enjoyed a brilliant period of independence when the powerful Bagratid Dynasty asserted political authority. Resumption of international trade brought prosperity and the revival of artistic and literary pursuits. The capital of Ani grew to a population of about 100,000, more than any urban center in Europe. Religious life flourished and Ani became known as the “city of one thousand and one churches.” In the middle of the 11th century, most of Armenia had been annexed by Byzantium.